Monday, August 13, 2018
3 Ways To Rethink Customer Relationships In The Age Of The Consumer
I think we can all agree that the world of buying and selling today looks drastically different than it did as little as 10 or 15 years ago. With the advent of the internet and the proliferation of content, consumers are more informed than ever. And the byproduct of this easily accessible information? A shift in the balance of power in the brand-consumer relationship.
Early in my book, “Top of Mind,” I talk about how this shift has necessitated the transition from “Me Marketing” to “You Marketing.” Instead of only considering their brand, their product, and their pitch, businesses are building trust with audiences by taking a more customer-centric approach — essentially shifting their messages from being all about them to being all about the audience.
These days, pushing a message out will only get you so far. Instead, companies must focus on all the ways they can help customers, drawing prospects in when they’re ready to convert and retaining them once they do.
It sounds intuitive because it reflects the way most of us prefer to interact with brands. But actually implementing a plan to act on it is another story. Below are three tips to help you rethink your relationships with your audience members and succeed in the age of the consumer.
1. Prioritize the post-sale experience.
A lot of companies have an obsession with landing sales. This mindset is understandable, given that even the best product or service will completely flop without customers. The problem arises when companies become obsessed with always trying to get more new customers and fail to invest in the experiences of the customers they already have.
Growth and success are about more than landing new clients; they’re also about retaining current ones. According to McKinsey, “even small differences in net-revenue churn have very real implications for a company’s top line.” In fact, a 5 percent increase in customer retention rates can increase profits by 25 to 95 percent.
Taking care of the customers you already have is a win-win. By improving retention rates, you’re simultaneously driving new business.
2. Focus on customer success over customer service.
It’s mind-blowing how many companies resort to a reactive customer service approach. This traditional method of customer support naturally highlights problem areas because customers don’t interact with your brand until they’re having an issue.
No business is perfect, but if you spend all your time putting out fires, you'll have a hard time demonstrating how easy it is for your customers to work with you to reach their goals. A proactive approach focused on truly helping your customers succeed and adding value to your relationships with them can turn an entire business around.
When interactions with customers focus on helping them achieve as much as possible — as opposed to quickly fixing a problem to quell a complaint — they’re bound to be much more positive. In the long term, this can strengthen your relationships and highlight opportunities for revenue growth.
3. Use the right tools and resources.
Hopefully, you’re starting to understand the value of a customer success methodology over one centered around customer service, but if you think you’re going to clap your hands and simply proclaim the change in your organization, you’re mistaken. To really make the shift, you’re going to need the right tools.
One place to start is by taking advantage of customer success platforms such as Gainsight that leverage predictive analytics to monitor customer health. Managing relationships effectively is incredibly valuable, and using the right tools can help you maximize customer lifetime value.
Your company content is another essential tool, so consider updating your content marketing strategy to align with a customer success mentality. This means retiring those traditional Me Marketing tactics that put you ahead of your customers and focusing on providing authentic, educational resources to your audience. This kind of content not only helps you continue to attract new customers, but it also helps your current customers get the most value out of working with you — effectively killing two birds with one stone.
In business and in life, we tend to follow tried-and-true approaches, but sometimes this limits our growth potential by enforcing certain boundaries. The most common interpretation of customer service has been around for years, but it’s time for a change. By making a commitment to put customers first and ensure that they know how to take full advantage of what you have to offer, you’re making an investment that will ultimately benefit your business.
Image Credit: Pixabay
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